Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Shootings in Kurdistan before Iraqi elections


Rudaw - In the last two nights there have been unrest in the three Kurdish provinces of the Kurdistan Region (Iraq) and shootings. No people were hurt.

The tensions are especially growing in the Kurdish province of Slemani with demonstrations and beeping cars.

Sunday an office of the Islamic Union of Kurdistan (IUK, Yekgirtu) was shot at in Halabja, in Xurmal. The office of the Kurdish change list in Shaqlawa was also shot at. There were also shootings between supporters of the Kurdistan Alliance and the police.

The IUK also claimed that journalist of their TV-station Spêde TV were threatened by the police, when they caught the police hanging up posters of the Kurdistan Alliance. On 14 February, a camera crew of the Kurdish opposition channel KNN of Gorran was shot at and later arrested by security forces of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).

A new report of Reporters Without Borders suggest the cases of harassment and physical violence against independent and opposition journalists have been increasing in frequency in Iraqi Kurdistan in the run-up to legislative elections scheduled for 7 March.

© Rudaw